I love crowdfunding; the world’s full of people with great ideas, and crowdfunding provides an opportunity for them to launch those ideas without the backing of a big, established corporation. Just look at what a crowdfunded team has done with the hibernating ISEE-3 probe, or the GoldieBlox system, or children’s books like “Augie and the Green Knight”. And there’s another one out there that I think is pretty awesome, and you should totally check it out: the Hema-Imager, originally devised by physicist Erik Beall.
The Hema-Imager is a hand-held infrared camera that pairs with your cell phone or tablet. You’ve doubtless seen some thermal images before — missile’s-eye footage from Desert Storm, heat measurements on Mythbusters, a whole lot of action movies — and you doubtless figured that sort of equipment has got to be really expensive. And it generally is. Originally, pretty much just the military could afford it, but it’s getting to where consumers can access it. Of course, right now, that’s consumers with a lot of disposable income, and these days, that’s not a lot of us. So Hema-Imager LLC came along; the team has built a remarkably compact device for a fraction of what competitors charge. It’s compatible with both iPhone and Android OS, and it connects via either Bluetooth or WiFi. (The initial prototype is Bluetooth only, but they’ve got a WiFi prototype as well no. Bluetooth consumes less power, but the WiFi has more throughput for a better frame rate.)
If they get enough funding for a manufacturing run, that is. And that’s where we all come in. The Kickstarter has less than a month to go, and it’s got a ways to go in funding. Chip in $250 and if they make their goal, you can get one of these awesome devices. If you haven’t used Kickstarter before, it’s actually pledge; it doesn’t actually process your payment until the pledge period is over, and then only if they get enough pledges — that way, if they don’t get enough money to give you your reward, you won’t end up throwing away any money. This makes it a very low risk opportunity for you to fun an exciting new startup!
Please, go check it out, and pass it on! This is a very cool device from a very enthusiastic team with a solid supply chain and a great product, and I’m hoping it gets fully funded — I’ve pledged already. 😉 I can forsee a lot of uses for this thing around the house. My husband wants one to try to track down heat leaks and hopefully to figure out where the little mousies are getting into our basement. I’d love to use it to get a better handle on the thermal properties of my telescope. I like to do solar observing, but I really don’t have a good handle on whether or not my ‘scope is properly shielded from the sunlight. If one part of the tube is hotter than the other, I will get distortion, but if I don’t know whether the ‘scope is adequately shielded, I’ll probably blame it on the seeing, totally unaware that the problem is in fact fixable. Plus, it’ll be a lot of fun to mess around with it. 😉
So go, check out the Kickstarter! Tell your friends! You won’t regret it.